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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Death penalty is not always enough

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sometimes, as odd as this may sound, the death penalty is just not enough. Granted, there is indeed a higher power that will balance the scales and, I assume, that is the only answer. But it still lingers that on this earth, the death penalty sometimes falls short.

Ricky Jovan Gray will someday face his day of execution. A judge sealed that fate on Monday for a series of murders that Gray committed. But as they say, the devil's in the details.

In a random New Year's Day crime spree, Gray and his nephew - for some reason that still remains a mystery - walked into the home of a Richmond, Va. family, bound the husband, wife and two daughters and then beat them with a hammer, stabbed each and cut their throats. For good measure, he set their house on fire.

A week later, the duo killed another family - this time a man, his wife and daughter. A month earlier, Gray told police he had beaten his wife to death. And there's one remaining murder that Gray is thought to have an involvement in.

So Ricky Jovan Gray killed at least eight people by his own admission. There was no police evidence that drugs played a role or that robbery was the motive. Just senseless, random murders.

I failed to mention that the first family Gray killed included two daughters, ages 9 and 4.

Gray apologized to the remaining family during his court hearing Monday. He asked for forgiveness. Actually, he begged.

And that is why the death penalty sometimes just isn't sufficient punishment for some crimes that are beyond the imagination of sane, rational people. Unlike others, Gray didn't complain about an abusive childhood or try to lay the blame elsewhere. For some reason that we'll never know, Gray decided to take the lives of others.

He'll now wait on death row and eventually his final day will arrive. But if there is justice - and I believe there is - that final day will not be the end of the punishment for Ricky Jovan Gray. Or at least, that's my hope.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen